Tuesday, January 8, 2013

"We Can't Be Bullied Around," Cont'd

The saga of remodeling contractor Chris Dietz vs. one very displeased former client took a negative turn against the remodeler last week when the Virginia Supreme Court overturned a preliminary injunction against that client, whom Dietz had sued for defamation.

image from www.helloari.com
In that preliminary injunction, the client, Jane Perez, had been ordered to remove some claims on popular consumer-ratings sites Yelp and Angie's List about Dietz and his work. Under the latest legal decision, Perez may now keep her reviews online in their unaltered original state.

As I wrote in December, after talking with Dietz:
"The problem is, the homeowner's allegations weren't true.... Not only did the woman never pay him for the work he did do -- for a project that totaled a whopped $9,340 -- but her words scared away other homeowners who were ready to sign projects worth several hundred thousand dollars, he said."
That post generated dozens of comments on d5R, along with several calls to support Dietz by contributing to a legal defense fund or getting NARI or another association to provide him with legal support. Check out those comments here, including a response from NARI President Dean Herriges and from a few lawyers who work closely with remodeling contractors.

Add your thoughts to the discussion, if you like. Or share your thoughts below on the perils of online reviews, and steps you have taken to avoid or mitigate them.


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4 comments:

Darren Slaughter said...

It is always always always better to be the bigger person. Just keep offering to fix it. just stay on task, don't tit-for-tat, that is a race to the bottom. Answer questions politely and continue to offer to cure. That's when the other readers will realize the person bitching is over the line.

Darren Slaughter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
greg antonioli said...

I found the original email from a lead that found us online and saw our reports on Angie's List:
"I read your blog with lots of interest! And your answer on Angie’s List to the disgruntled customer is precisely what made us think, 'we need to talk to this company!' "
You can turn a negative into a positive if you maintain objectivity and professionalism.
-Greg Antonioli

Allen Reed said...

There are sights now where the contractor can post about customers that do not pay etc. IF we all started using these sights more often we can check in to see if there is any bad review about a particular customer prior to working for them.